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How the ANPR Parking System Improves on Older Systems

Published: 22/07/2023

What is ANPR Parking

ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) is a leading system in car park technology, used to track the movement and behaviours of vehicles using their number plates, and issuing fines accordingly. Our comprehensive review of how ANPR works offers a detailed explanation of where it comes from and how it functions in car parks.


What Was Before ANPR and Why Does It Exist?

The existence of ANPR as a system is indicative of previous issues with the car park system; the need for image references of number plates which can be time-stamped suggests that there was a lack of sufficient tracking of the behaviors and timings of vehicles. While wardens can and do still exist within car parks and issue tickets, there are invariably issues associated with having exclusively human operation as the central control system in a space which deals with mass arrival and departure of possibly hundreds of vehicles each day.

  • Human error: there is unignorable risk of a person simply making mistakes either from forgetting, losing track, not noticing and so on. These issues are significantly lessened by having a technology dedicated to tracking vehicle behavior/timing.
  • Speed: since the ANPR system is connected to a larger database and is supported by the DVLA, the speed at which information is processed is faster than that which a person could perform, which means criminal behaviour is dealt with faster and, when applicable, money is paid to the company with higher success.
  • 24-hour surveillance: while staff can rotate shifts, ANPR camera systems offer 24/7 surveillance which guarantees high-accuracy readings of all vehicles at all times
  • Irrefutable proof: with camera systems in place and databases with significant volumes of information that is supported by the DVLA, the ANPR system removes any issues that might come with proof of criminal activity or behaviors leading to fines.

While ANPR responds to issues with exclusively human operation, it also offers an alternative to other technological payment methods which require a more active role from the vehicle owner; since ANPR tracking can connect to online payment systems, it means that the role of the person paying is lessened when compared to pay on foot parking (although this can be combined with ANPR) or pay and display, although both have their own notable advantages.


How Effective is ANPR?

This is not to say that ANPR is a perfect system; it is important to also consider the disadvantages of ANPR. ANPR does face issues with the likes of not taking into account what is known as a grace period, where people are looking around and possibly failing to find a space but are still charged for the time spent in the carpark.

However, as a system it is incredibly effective, it is an accurate and consistent method of tracking the arrival and departure of vehicles and it can support other technological systems which may be in place, particularly cashless car park payments and pay on foot parking.


The Importance of Technology in Car Park Solutions

While there are inevitable issues of the public’s confidence in or comfort with the prospect of being monitored with such advanced, and ever-advancing, surveillance technology, there are a growing number of benefits to the ANPR system. However, as mentioned, ANPR is by no means the only technological development that helps modern car parks function as they do every day; technology is a centralised element of essentially every car park system and they would inarguably function entirely differently without it.

At Total Parking Solutions, part of our promise to you is to ensure you know what it is you’re getting and in what way it is best for you, our bespoke car parking solutions cater to your specific needs and that means only giving you what you need. We work closely with our clients to create a synergistic strategy and examine what car parking systems work for each client. To discover how we can help your car park, contact our team by calling us on 01536 680107 or emailing us at [email protected] or filling out our enquiry form.

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